BBC News: Al-Qaeda cell members imprisoned
Seven men have been jailed for up to 26 years over an al-Qaeda-linked plot to kill thousands in the UK and US.
Woolwich Crown Court heard they were in a “sleeper cell” led by Dhiren Barot, who is already serving a life sentence.
Barot planned attacks including an explosives-packed limousine, a dirty radiation bomb and blowing apart a London Underground tunnel.
Six admitted conspiracy to cause explosions and a seventh was found guilty of conspiracy to murder.
A rare piece of good news in the so called War on Terror with the police and presumably the Security Service, although they are not mentioned in the BBC article, preventing a cell of terrorists from carrying out an attack.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Peter Clarke, head of the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command, said
“The plans for a series of co-ordinated attacks in the United Kingdom included packing three limousines with gas cylinders and explosives before setting them off in underground car parks. This could have caused huge loss of life.
“The plans to set off a dirty bomb in this country would have caused fear, panic and widespread disruption.”
I’m always wary when I hear that plots involving dirty radiation bombs have been foiled because the use of the term “dirty bomb” seems to be a preferred method of the government’s for terrifying the British public when in fact the reality of the danger of such devices is far outweighed by the perceived danger.
This goes back to what I was saying yesterday about Walter Mitty like terrorist wannabes with outlandish unfeasible plots. Whilst in theory a “dirty bomb” is relatively simple to construct the construction and deployment of such a device in a manner that could kill a great number of people is a whole different ball game.
However in this case if the BBC article is accurate then the terrorist cell contained a wide range of skills and apparently enough expertise to carry out a devastating attack using conventional methods without the need for the movie plot device of a “dirty bomb”.
In the trial of Dhiren Barot, the ringleader of this cell, an expert testified that if the radiation (dirty bomb) project had been carried out, it would have been unlikely to cause deaths, but was designed to affect about 500 people.